West Virginia Algae Surveys, 2012-2018

Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin

Report Summary

A man standing in the middle of a river. The water is up to his knees. He is holding a measuring tape that stretches to the bank of the river.Between 2012 and 2018, ICPRB scientists assisted West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) in documenting the water quality and filamentous algal blooms in the Cacapon and South Branch rivers and the West Virginia portion of the Shenandoah River. Algal measurements were made using methods developed by West Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which quantify the percent stream covered by filamentous algae. The data are used to inform West Virginia decisions concerning impaired waters.

ICPRB staff analyzed the data for relationships between nutrient enrichment and the algal blooms. Staff also explored the effects of filamentous algae blooms on the benthic macroinvertebrate community structure in the Cacapon River. Benthic samples were collected at different times in summer at locations upstream, downstream, and inside the Rim Rock bloom site. Continuous measurements of dissolved oxygen, temperature and light were made at the bloom site and nearby non-bloom sites between June and October.

Annual survey reports

Click here to learn more about Cacapon and Lost Rivers studies.

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